Victoria Latest To Apply Surcharge Down-Under
Melbourne’s Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) has become the latest Australian stevedore to apply an infrastructure surcharge, a move which has drawn criticism from industry.
The increase to A$85 (US$61.5) plus GST per container represents a 77% rise and applies to all full boxes received by the terminal from March 1.
In a statement, VICT said the increase was to ensure it remained competitive and provide a viable alternative service. “As market pricing shifts towards split waterside and landside tariffs, the infrastructure surcharge will be revised accordingly,” the statement said.
“The rebalancing allows VICT to remain competitive in the market, while continuing to provide shipping lines and shippers with leading service levels and a viable alternative container terminal in Melbourne. Ongoing access to VICT will be conditional on payment of these charges as per our terms and conditions.”
VICT’s action has drawn expected criticism from customers. The Customs Brokers’ and Forwarders’ Council of Australia said VICT was following the lead of other stevedores in increasing infrastructure surcharges.
The CBFCA and other industry bodies have already approached the competition watchdog, the ACCC, with concerns about the implementation such infrastructure surcharges by other stevedores.
Australian Federation of International Forwarders chief executive Brian Lovell supported calls on the government to intervene.
“Any entity is allowed to apply charges as they see fit, provided they don’t contravene competition legislation,” he said.
Source: Port Strategy